Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 04/26/14
You should note that I made a couple more changes in the recommended flies. The
Hendricksons/Red Quills should be about gone for another year. Light Cahills will be
taking their place very soon, if not already. In addition to that you should start
seeing moderate hatches of Green Sedges or caddisflies.
I keep getting asked what a "Sedge" is. It's just an old English name for a caddisfly.
The Green Sedges are one of the most plentiful species of caddisflies in the park
because they do well in fast water streams. Of course, as you may expect, Abrams
Creek is full of them, but they also exist in decent quantities in all the trout streams in
the park. By the way, trout eat far more of their larvae than the pupae or the adults.
The larvae of the Green Sedge is often called a "Green Rock Worm" because it is in
fact, a little worm-like creature. This is one reason the old generic fly locally
called a Green Weenie works fairly well in the streams of the park. It
resembles a Rock Worm well enough that in the fast water where trout only get a
quick glimpse, trout are often fooled by it. It also imitates the moth larvae, which is yet
another reason the fly often catches trout. It is by no means as good of a fly as a
specific imitation of the Rock Worm or a Moth larva.
You will also note that I will be adding Little Yellow Stoneflies to the list around the
first of May. They usually begin to hatch in the lower sections of the park by the first
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Today will be sunny, with a high near 78. South winds will be around 5 to 10 mph
becoming west in the morning. Tonight's low will be around 53.
Sunday will also be sunny, with a high near 82. South winds will be around 5 mph
becoming northwest in the afternoon. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links that have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 227 cfs at 1.91 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 506 cfs at 1.89 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 102 cfs at 2.57 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby but It is a little low.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
is they are also below normal.
Current Recommended Streams
Any of the streams in the lower to middle elevations.
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 16/20
2. Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 4/6/8
Black Matuka Sculpin
Olive Matuka Sculpin
3. Light Cahills:
Hook Size 16/14
4. American March Browns: 10/12
5. Giant Black StoneflIies: 4/6
6. Green Sedge (Caddisfly):
Hook Size 14/16
larvae (Green Rock Worms)
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
Keep in mind, the strategies I am recommending is for the maximum odds of
catching numbers of fish. Many prefer or favor a dry fly and by all means there
isn't anything wrong with that. It's just a fact that if nothing is hatching at the time, it
reduces your odds of success. You can still probably hook some trout, just not as
many as if you fish subsurface. Of course, this is also based on using good
techniques and the right flies. Some guys don't know how to fish below the surface.
Until I spotted something hatching, I would fish the BWO nymph. Right now you have
two completely different size BWOs hatching, one a size 20 and another closer to a
size 16. The only time I would change from the nymphs just mentioned is when and if
I saw something hatching, and then I would go to the appropriate emerger or
dun/adult imitation of that insect.
American March Browns are hatching but they are always sporadic hatches that are
difficult to predict in terms of the time of day. They will hatch off and on over a long
period of time, for the next couple of months. If you see any duns emerging, change
to an American March Brown emerger or dun. That also means there will be a
spinner fall late in the day near dark and that always concentrates them. You can
catch several trout very fast if you catch that right.
Giant Black stoneflies are also likely to hatch but the hatch occurs near or after dark.
Fishing the Giant Black stonefly nymph near the banks very late in the day should be
very effective. If you see any Giant Black stoneflies laying eggs, switch to the adult
Green Sedges should start to hatch in the lower elevation first, and then progress
upstream as the days go by. The do not hatch in big numbers but where they hatch,
trout will focus on eating them because they hatch at a time of day that is different
from other hatching insects at this time of the year. It usually occurs later in the day
near the same time the previously hatched adults are depositing their eggs. You
should concentrate far more on fishing the Green Rock Worm or larva stage of life of
the Green Sedge.
Tips for Beginners: Stupid Advise Is Plentiful
Fly shops in the area will try to tell you it makes little difference which fly you use.
Most of the ones that preach that haven't actually fished in the park since Mobby
Dick was a minnow. The problem is, they don't have anything to sell but age old flies
tied overseas and sold to them by Umpqua and other importers. Of course, you can
catch a few trout using the generic, age old flies, but you can rest assured that at
best, you will forever be a mediocre angler.
Generic Advice: "Just tie on any fly and if it doesn't work, tie on something else. The
fly shop salesmen will tell you to tie on a nymph and if that doesn't work, tie on a dry
fly. I mean that is pretty simple - fish on the surface and if that doesn't work, fish
below the surface. If that doesn't work, you can always lie and say, "the fish were not
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Make sure your reading the right section of this report
Whatever Hits Me:
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